Law enforcement agencies around the country are cracking down on people who they suspect are driving under the influence (DUI). Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) estimate that when a person is arrested for this offense, they have already done this at least 80 times. An estimated 300,000 people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol drive but there are fewer than 4,000 people who are caught and arrested. This offense costs the United States economy about $199 billion every year, according to MADD. If you have been arrested for this, the answer to the question “when to get a DUI lawyer?” is “as soon as you can.”
If you have been arrested for a DUI, what happens to you right away varies from place to place. Some areas will take you to the police station and other will take you right to jail. You may have to wait until the morning to see a judge who will set a bond or let you go. If you have a bond set, you should work on getting out of jail as soon as you can, if you can. Some people will tell you that you can mount your defense from inside jail. Those people are wrong.
You can work with your friends and family to contact a local bail bonds agency to arrange for your release. You can be assigned a public defender by the judge. If your case is simple, say this is your first drunk driving charge and your first run in with the law, you may have a simple case. You may not need to look into hiring a DUI attorney but if you can, when you think about when to get a DUI lawyer, having a private attorney on your side can make things go a lot better. They may be able to have some of the evidence against you thrown out and they may be able to negotiate a better deal.
How can I find a good DUI law firm?
- Talk to your friends and family. The number of people who are arrested every year is just going up. Therefore, there is a good chance that you know someone who has sought out the help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The best way to find quality products and services is to get a personal referral. Every case is different and you may not use the same attorney as your friend or family member but you should ask how they found the person and what the experience was like.
- Check their references. Many law firms have testimonials on their website. Check the ones you can. Ask the law firms about talking to current and former clients who can tell you what it was like to work with them.
- Take advantage of the free consultation. Sometimes people do not realize that law firms offer free consultations and now knowing about this impacts how they think about when to get a DUI lawyer. When you go in, you should have a list of questions that include the following:andnbsp;
- Why did you go into criminal defense law? You want someone who is passionate about their job and will fight for you. You do not want someone who is “phoning it in.”andnbsp;
- How long have you handled DUI cases? How many cases like mine have you handled? Like doctors, lawyers specialize. You cannot expect your cousin’s divorce lawyer, who did a great job, to handle your DUI case.andnbsp;
- How much of your time is spent on this kind of case? Lawyers often work on different kinds of cases under the criminal law umbrella. You need someone who works with the court on these cases a lot. More than 96% of cases are settled out of court so they need to be well known by the prosecutors in your area.
If you have been arrested for this offense, you are probably very scared. This is a serious charge and you should decide when to get a DUI lawyer. The sooner you get one and start working on your defense, the better you will feel about your situation. It will get better.